Friday, April 6, 2012

Rendering Translucent Objects

SolidWorks Photoview 360

Rendering models that appear translucent or almost transparent can be tricky to create with the correct illumination settings. This blog entry will be a step-by-step guide in how to create translucent renderings of models in SolidWorks Photoview 360.

Make sure Photoview 360 Add-in is installed. Click on Options>Add-ins
  1. Click the Render Tools Tab on the Command Manager
    Render Tools

  2. Click Preview Window (This will bring up a preview render and allow the user to preview a quick render as changes are made.) The window looks like this:
  3. Preview Window

  4. Click Edit Appearance (Note: the model was colored red first before using illumination tools this can be done in edit appearance.)
    Edit Appearance

  5. Edit Appearance will bring up the property manager on the left side of the screen. To adjust for transparency click on the Illumination Tab under Advanced. There are several options under the Illumination Tab. (Information from SolidWorks help: Illumination)
    • Diffuse amount: controls intensity of light on a surface (higher value means surface appears brighter) 
    • Specular amount: controls the color of the reflected highlights within the component
    • Specular spread: controls the blurriness of the reflections of a surface, making a surface appear rough or smooth. At 0 no blurring occurs 
    • Reflection amount: Controls the reflectivity of a surface, on a scale of 0-1, 0 no reflections are visible, at 1 the surface simulates a mirror. 
    • Transparent amount: Controls the degree at which light can pass through a surface. Lower values increases the opacity, 0 is completely opaque. Higher values increase transparency, 100 is completely transparent

      Property Manager
      Illumination Tab

  6. For setting model for transparent rendering, we will be focusing on transparent amount & reflection amount. With the diffuse amount set at 1.00, set the reflection amount at 0.900 and view the preview window.
    Reflective Rendering

  7. The reflection amount adjusted how reflective the surface was. Now set the transparent amount to 0.80

Transparent Rendering

Now the transparency was adjusted to allow more light to pass through the object, giving it its red color back. Adjusting the transparency and reflective settings together can give a model a translucent feel. Transparent allows more or less light to pass through and reflection bounces the light off of the model. Using these settings together can give your rendering a realistic translucent look.

Final Rendering

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